JUNGLE – FOR EVER
It has been four years since we’ve had an album from Jungle, and it looks like the 7-piece band have been busy. We’ve had previews of what was to come with the singles ‘House in LA’, ‘Happy Man’, ‘Cherry’, ‘Beat 54 (All Good Now)’ and ‘Heavy, California’ released throughout the year, all of which feature on For Ever.
The thirteen-track album does not disappoint. Jungle have managed to experiment with new boundaries while keeping their distinctive sound. ‘Smile’ opens the album with a bang, building in intensity until the first chorus, with the track culminating in a primal sort of wail which makes a reappearance in ‘Heavy, California’ – although that doesn’t sound too enticing, it fits perfectly and is the kind of material that has always made Jungle stand out. The album strikes the perfect balance between high and low tempo, with songs such as ‘Cherry’ and ‘House in LA’ providing some respite in between the higher intensity tracks. ‘Happy Man’ is a catchy but poignant track on the futility of consumer society, with the chorus ending on the line, ‘buy yourself a dream, but it won’t mean nothing’.
The delicate interlude that is ‘Home’ features towards the end of the album, with fluttering droplets of music that sound like light – this track is calm and uplifting. ‘(More and More) It Ain’t Easy’ is another stripped back track with light, mellow percussion and raw vocals, making a change from the more intense and layered tracks. ‘Pray’ concludes the album, upping the tempo with a dramatic refrain featuring intense violins and percussion; it brings a satisfying end to an amazing piece of art.
The album is, as always with Jungle, full of soul, a twist of funk and psychedelic sounds while the bass is something to reckoned with. For Ever is artistic and experimental, new but familiar at the same time, and definitely worth the wait.
post by Jess Williamson